Schedule An Appointment

Learn How to Clean A/C Evaporator Coils and Reap the Benefits

  • August 28, 2013

It’s important to change the filter and clean A/C evaporator coils as recommended by the manufacturer, or even more often in North Carolina summers. With the heat and humidity in Aberdeen, air conditioners run constantly all summer long – with more opportunities for dust and dirt to build up on filters and coils. The dirt and debris blocks airflow, which makes it harder to cool. This increases energy costs, can cause coils to freeze, and can damage the compressor. Changing the filter is easy, but cleaning coils is a little more time consuming.

You can clean A/C evaporator coils yourself, or have it done by your HVAC technician. There are two types of evaporator coils. One is located in the indoor unit in the air handler. The other is normally located outdoors on the compressor. Both need regular cleaning to improve airflow.

How to Clean A/C Evaporator Coils

  • First, you must turn of the air conditioning system. For safety’s sake, turn off power at the breaker to make sure there are no live currents.
  • Next, locate the coils. The indoor coils are usually located in an access panel near the air handler.  Consult your manual for more information about locating coils.
  • For light dirt, a soft brush alone is a simple and environmentally friendly method and easy to use in tight spaces.
  • For more stubborn dirt and debris, you can use a hand or garden sprayer and mild detergent. Let the solution soak for up to 15 minutes, then wipe clean.
  • Alternatively, you can use chemicals made for cleaning coils. A possible risk is damage from corrosion, so make sure the cleaner is approved by the manufacturer. Some technicians use compressed air to clean coils, but there is a risk of blowing dirt and debris further into the air handler.
  • When coils are extremely neglected and dirty, they may need to be removed for cleaning and possibly replaced.

If you aren’t sure how damaged your coils are, contact Comfort Services for a complete evaluation. We can assess the level of dirt and debris and include a thorough and safe cleaning as part of regular HVAC maintenance.